TUCSON'S JANUARY 8TH MEMORIAL
LOCATION Tucson, AZ
TYPE Memorial and Memorial Gardens
SIZE 1 acre
PROJECT TEAM January 8th Memorial Foundation, Pima County, City of Tucson, Chee Salette Architecture Office, Rebeca Mendez Studio-memorial symbols, agLicht-lighting, JKain-community outreach
STATUS Construction Documents
AWARDS International Competition awarded in 2015
Located in front of the historic Pima County Courthouse, the January 8 Memorial commemorates the tragic event on January 8, 2011 when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, while holding a Congress on Your Corner event for civic engagement and discourse, was shot which took and affected the lives of 6 victims, 13 survivors, first responders, and the Tucson community. Through multiple forms of commemoration- the Memorial Gardens that surround the memorial, the Living Wall- a woven landscape of plants and stones symbolic of the community, and the Inner Memorial Wall- a constellation of symbols in a collective wall of memory, the Memorial commemorates the lives affected and also celebrates the strength and resilience of the community in the aftermath.
The January 8 Memorial, the Embrace, is a place of emotion, remembrance and contemplation expressed as a bridge between the city and the park. It is a space suspended in time, precisely located at the intersection between Tucson's past and its present, which conveys in one embracing gesture the universal outpouring of support from the community that followed the incomprehensible violence of January 8. The Embrace honors and tells the story of the victims, the survivors and the first responders of January 8 using a language of unique symbols carved into the walls of the memorial, which are inspired by the ancient Hohokam petroglyphs and will be crafted with the stakeholders, inspired by their recollection and their testimony. Rooted in the landscape of the park, the Embrace celebrates Tucson's larger history through its intimate relationship with the Old Pima County Courthouse, and Tucson's culture through its forms, colors, materials and plants. Located on Tucson's civic axis, the Embrace is connected to the everyday life of the city and will evolve over time with the participation of the community in nurturing the Living Wall that protects it. Profoundly linked with the Sonoran Desert and the clear night sky above Tucson, the Embrace is conceived to honor January 8 and celebrate its community for thousands of years to come.